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Psych Yourself Rich Psych Yourself Rich Preface
The arrival of this book and its message, I suspect, could not have been better timed. We’re more than two years into this great recession, and many of us are more confused than ever about our personal finances. With the financial and employment landscapes evolving before us, it’s difficult to return to the old, prescriptive advice we’ve grown accustomed to. Emotionally, we’ve got a lot going on; we’re angry, hurt, confused, and we’ve lost confidence. Our emotions have (and continue to) run high. By now we recognize that we need to change our ways, but not in a knee-jerk, reactionary way. After all, economic volatility is cyclical and will likely return in a new form in the near future. What’s needed is advice that doesn’t just stem from the rules and regulations of the banking, credit, and financial world but is rooted in our behavior and habits. We need to understand ourselves, get honest, and make money one of the most personal issues and biggest priorities of our lives. If we can get a tighter hold on our minds, our actions, and our belief systems, we can be in control of anything, most importantly our financial lives.
When I first started developing this book, I struggled to succinctly describe its idea to my colleagues, friends, and family. Not because I hadn’t a clue, but because my mind was racing. Only until I was deep into my writing could I possibly narrow it down, and even then my summary ran wild. “It’s about how our emotions complicate our financial lives and hinder us from making the best financial decisions...It’s about the complications of money and how it’s actually never about the money...ramble ramble ramble...It’s about how we have the ability to make better financial decisions, but rarely do...It’s...well, it’s complicated,” went my usual rant (followed by awkward silence). My sympathetic listeners often responded with generous nods and smiles. They said they couldn’t wait to read it, even though they weren’t quite sure what the heck I was talking about!
This book has been an incredible learning process and has been, by far, my most challenging project. It’s been a couple years since I’ve authored a book. The first was a financial guide for young adults, and as my readers and I matured, we reached a place where we demanded a deeper understanding and explanation of money. We wanted to get a better handle on our financial commitments and our future goals. We wanted to better understand our mistakes and learn how to lay a foundation for personal wealth down the road, especially with the recent financial crisis. This book teaches us how to stop second-guessing ourselves, how to differentiate what is financially right and wrong, and how to actually make the best decisions on our own terms.
Fortunately, I’ve always had a deep curiosity for understanding why we do the silly things we do with money, so researching the why for this book was quite entertaining at times. The behavioral research was available in abundance, thanks to some economic pioneers. Without them and their brilliant minds, this book would be just 50% complete. As for me, my promise was to provide the what now to readers. What do we do, now that we know we have irrational tendencies when it comes to money? How do we actually begin to embrace the M word in a more honest, personal, and rational way?
Finding solutions to these questions has been a journey of discovery. Looking back, it was a trip I believe that was launched long before I began developing the notion behind Psych Yourself Rich. It started when I began entering people’s homes, watching them spend money and hearing them talk about their goals. There’s nothing like the face to face. Participating in shows such as TLC’s Real Simple. Real Life and SOAPnet’s Bank of Mom & Dad allowed me to see and hear actual people struggling with money. Through them, I discovered how our emotions and our biases can deeply influence our financial decisions. And getting to the root of your emotions—and realizing you can control them—is the first what now step toward financial freedom. Along the way, I’ve learned and taught that financial freedom is also about respecting yourself, having a deep understanding of what you want and don’t want in life, and of course, living within your means.
In the chapters that follow, I’ll help you develop the discipline, behaviors, and habits that will lead you to make positive choices about your financial life. I’ll help you dig into what’s keeping you from being motivated and taking positive action, and look at the behaviors that make people “money zombies.” Once those ingrained behaviors are exposed, we can explore the positive habits and the discipline necessary to build a secure financial future.
The methods in this book will enable you to pursue personal and professional goals and will result in achieving financial security, now, five years from now, and long into the future.
Your journey starts now.
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